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Using Vaping Prevalence Sleight-of-Hand and More! Tobacco Harm Reduction News

Tobacco Control uses vaping prevalence sleight-of-hand to hide facts. Debunking Bloomberg shill’s op-ed. PAVE mom wants a “double ban” in New York. U-Haul discriminates against all nicotine consumers. A blatant red flag for research bias. Calls to Action and more!

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!


CALLS TO ACTION

Below are the new and updated Calls to Action for this past week. To view all of the current Calls to Action, scroll down to “More Calls to Action” below. To view the current hearing events schedule (Facebook,) click the box on the right.

 

COLORADO

⚠️Hearing scheduled: Wednesday, April 3, 2024 (Time is after adjournment.)⚠️

HB 1356, which would remove thousands of products from vape shop shelves in the state, has been referred to the House Committee on Business Affairs & Labor.

TAKE ACTION:  Colorado: Stop a Vape Product Ban!

 

IOWA

⚠️URGENT⚠️ SB 3101 already had a hearing on March 19 at 9 AM.

Iowa Advocates are encouraged to submit comments to the committee by using the Public Comments form for this hearing. (See link for more info!)

TAKE ACTION: Iowa: Stop a Vape Product Ban!

 

GEORGIA

⚠️URGENT⚠️ This bill already had a hearing, so don’t delay!

HB 1260 will put most independent vape companies and shops in the state out of business, leaving consumers with minimal product options, putting them at risk of smoking!

TAKE ACTION: Georgia: Stop a Vape Product Ban!

 

ARIZONA

⚠️URGENT⚠️ This bill already had a hearing on March 20th!

Another bill, SB 1365, has been gutted and turned into a vapor product directory bill in the House Ways and Means Committee!

TAKE ACTION: Arizona: Stop a Vape Product Ban!

 

UTAH

⚠️UPDATE⚠️

Utah became the fifth U.S. state with a PMTA registry law and the sixth with a flavored vape ban when Governor Spencer Cox signed bill SB 61 into law Wednesday. The law will take effect Jan. 1, 2025.

READ MORE: Utah Governor Signs Flavor Ban and PMTA Registry Bill

 

MORE CALLS TO ACTION:  GET INVOLVED: Calls to Action By State


TOBACCO CONTROL

Vaping Prevalence Sleight-of-Hand

Note how, in this article, they obfuscate the North Carolina student vaping prevalence by only stating a number rather than giving a percentage for perspective? They did give some kind of perspective with overall tobacco use by pointing out that it’s equivalent to “1 in 8” and “about 3 students in every classroom,” but not for vaping. Instead, they only used the number (43,800) without giving any context.

Maybe admitting high school vaping (ie. taking even just 1 puff in the past month) in North Carolina – which is actually below the national average at just 9.6% – doesn’t sound so scary?

 

READ MORE: NC sued Juul over its impact on the meteoric rise of youth vaping. How is the state spending $40M in settlement money?

 

Debunking a Bloomberg Shill’s Op-Ed

There’s so much to unpack with the outlandish claims, history revision and misinformation in this op-ed by Dr. Joanna Cohen (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,) so buckle in!

1) You wouldn’t trust a thief to sell you an alarm system, so we can’t trust the tobacco industry to sell harm reduction.

By this logic, we can’t trust the auto industry to sell environmentally-friendly cars.

 

2) Big Tobacco is “co-opting” harm reduction with a “dangerous narrative” that nicotine vapor products are “the be-all, end-all of smoking cessation.”

Categorically false. No US tobacco company has ever claimed their vapor products are for smoking cessation.

 

3) “Legitimate” tobacco harm reduction is Tobacco Control policies, such as advertising restrictions, taxes and public use bans.

Who is really “co-opting harm reduction” here? Traditional Tobacco Control policies have goals of prevention and abstinence, not harm reduction!

 

4) Tobacco Control policies have been “so successful that they’ve left tobacco giants scrambling to retain customers.”

Smoking cessation rates had slowed down considerably before vaping came into the picture. It was the independent vape industry that got the tobacco industry scrambling!

 

5) “No company in the U.S. has sought out FDA authorization to market these products as approved cessation devices.”

Because these products are NOT intended to treat nicotine addiction. They are harm reduction – safer alternatives for people who cannot or will not quit.

 

6) Tobacco industry is “lobbying against every evidence-based tobacco control measure introduced.”

The “evidence” shows the policies do little to nothing to reduce harm. Youth were still starting to smoke and adults weren’t quitting. Your policies just punished them for it.

 

7) “Tobacco companies are co-opting genuine concerns about over-policing in the Black community” regarding menthol.

Tobacco Control policies have already caused over-policing in black communities. Just ask Eric Garner’s mother. She is genuinely concerned about a menthol ban.

 

8) Tobacco industry “allies baselessly” position e-cigarettes & Heat-not-Burn products as the only viable harm reduction method for people who want to quit. They discount existing FDA-approved cessation methods entirely.”

*Not “baseless.” Numerous studies have shown vaping IS more effective than FDA-approved cessation methods, which fail 93% of the time!

 

9) “E-cigarettes are newer to the market, there is not yet this same breadth and depth of evidence.”

So just ignore how all of that evidence from cigarette research shows us that what caused the harm is not found in e-cigs and that e-cigs have been sold for 20 years now?

 

10) “E-cigarette liquids contain toxins such as formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.”

False. E-liquids do not “contain” formaldehyde. It can be created in high levels but only when e-cigs are tested under very unrealistic conditions that would taste horrible to a consumer.

11) “Evidence shows that e-cigarette use is associated with an increased risk of lung injury, cardiovascular damage, poisoning…”

This is speculation. No medical case of lung injury, cardiovascular damage or poisoning has been causally linked to just vaping nicotine.

12) “They are potentially cultivating a whole new generation of consumers, including children and young people enticed by appealing flavors…”

Who would have likely started smoking if e-cigs weren’t available — and surveys show adults overwhelmingly prefer those flavors.

This article is shockingly bad, but it’s not surprising. As Dr. Cohen says, “this playbook isn’t new” for the tobacco industry, but these examples from the Tobacco Control playbook aren’t new, either — especially coming from those associated with institutions and organizations funded by the rabidly anti-vaping Bloomberg Philanthropies.

 

READ MORE:  Big tobacco is trying to hide its greed behind ‘harm reduction’

 

PAVE Mom Wants “Double Ban” in New York

Meredith Berkman, a founder of Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes (PAVE,) wants New York state to double down on it’s failed vaping flavor ban to “protect” youth.  New York state high school smoking is already at an unprecedentedly low 2.1% (2022.) Yet since the 2020 ban, adult smoking has been stalled at 12% (over 1.9 million.) So who cares about them?

 

 

READ MORE: Commentary: New York’s ban on flavored vaping products isn’t working

 

Disinformation About Hispanic Youth Vaping

The National Alliance for Hispanic Health calls for a total flavor ban, citing an alleged “increase in youth nicotine addiction” and calling it a “flavored tobacco epidemic plaguing Hispanic youth.”

However, the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey data shows:

– Overall tobacco/nicotine use by Hispanic/Latino youth declined from 22% in 2019 to 11.7%

– Smoking declined from 8.8% to 3.9%

– Vaping declined from 18.7% to 8.5%

Note that their press release chooses to highlight the NYTS middle school data, because it’s higher among Hispanic students than the average, but the more relevant high school data that shows Hispanic use is 9.7% — lower than both the 10% average and white students at 11.3%.

 

READ MORE: Urgent Alert: Flavored Tobacco Hooks Hispanic Youth into Nicotine’s Grip

 

Zyn Outcry Exposes Anti-Smoking Orgs Fighting To Protect Cigs From Competition

“Vapes, heated tobacco, snus, and nicotine pouches (including Zyn) all have the potential to significantly reduce harm from smoking by competing with traditional cigarettes. Yet it is anti-smoking organizations that are fighting hard to eradicate them.”

~ Martin Cullip

 

READ MORE: Zyn Outcry Exposes Anti-Smoking Orgs Fighting To Protect Cigs From Competition

 

ANTI-NICOTINE POLICY

U-Haul’s Baseless Discrimination

It’s U-Haul’s right to discriminate against nicotine consumers, but the policy (which includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington) is completely unfounded. Nicotine may be “addictive,” but so is alcohol, caffeine & sugar. There’s also no evidence that smoke-free nicotine is more harmful than anything else we consume!

 

READ MORE: U-Haul pledges not to hire nicotine users in 21 states, including Idaho and Washington

 

Consequences of Bad Laws

The situations such as discussed in the article would have been avoidable had lawmakers just considered:

Why do people sell these products?

Because they can make money.

Why can they make money?

Because people want the products.

Why don’t people buy it legally?

Because lawmakers either banned them or made them unaffordable.

Reasonable regulation work far better than of bans.

 

READ MORE: 3 arrested after selling THC, nicotine products to middle schoolers in Jeffersontown, police say

 

RESEARCH

A Red Flag for Research Bias

“Nicotine use is a leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide, and most of those who attempt to quit will relapse. While electronic cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) were presented as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes and promoted as devices to help traditional tobacco smokers reduce or quit smoking, they have instead contributed to increasing nicotine use among youths.”

When researchers disingenuously open with “nicotine use is a leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide,” it’s a red flag for possible bias.

Even the CDC says those preventable deaths are associated with cigarette smoking, not smoke-free nicotine products. Per the CDC: “Most of the dangers of smoking are due to the hundreds of toxic chemicals in the cigarette smoke, not the nicotine.” The CDC also says the “480,000 deaths each year in the United States,” which are often attributed to “tobacco use” or “nicotine use” by anti-nicotine organizations, are actually all due to cigarette smoking, not other forms of tobacco or nicotine. The CDC page about smokeless tobacco doesn’t even mention how many annual deaths there are to smokeless tobacco and nicotine products. In fact, some smokeless tobacco products, such as Swedish snus, have decades of research showing no elevated risk of any disease or death from use.

 

READ MORE: Effect of chronic vapor nicotine exposure on affective and cognitive behavior in male mice

 

No, That New Study Didn’t Show Vaping Causes Cancer

This study contributes to our understanding of e-cigarettes, but it does not show that e-cigarettes cause cancer. Decades of research has proven the link between smoking and cancer, and studies have so far shown that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking and can help people quit. This paper does however highlight that e-cigarettes are not risk-free, and so we need additional studies to uncover their potential longer-term impacts on human health.”

~ Dr. Ian Walker

READ MORE: Similar DNA changes found in cells of both smokers and e-cigarette users

 

CASAA Live Clip

Tobacco Harm Reduction advocate Bengt Wiberg on “The Swedish Experience.” Snus use in Sweden is around 20% and has the lowest prevalence of daily cigarette use and the lowest rate of tobacco-related mortality in the EU!

WATCH FULL EPISODE: Snus and Other Smoke-free Alternatives with Bengt Wiberg

 


CASAA IN ACTION // CASAA Live

Some see disposable vapor products as important tools for harm reduction and saving lives, while others see them as a serious threat to the industry and advocacy. On this week’s episode, join us for a nuanced conversation about the pros and cons of these controversial products.

Catch the next show LIVE Saturday, April 6th at 4:30PM ET/3:30PM CT!

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